School Health


The Georgia Department of Public Health, School Health Nursing Program, part of the Office of Nursing, commits to promoting and protecting the health and learning of the state’s children and youth.  The program serves all children of school age attending public and non-public schools in Georgia.

The School Health Program supports statements from leading agencies including the following.

 “School nursing, a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential.”  (Adopted by the National Association of School Nurses Board of Directors February 2017).

“Public health nursing is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health science” (American Public Health Association, Public Health Nursing Section, 1196, p.1).

“Having a full-time school nurse in every school is the best means of ensuring a strong connection with each student’s medical home” (American Academy of Pediatrics, May 2008).


Georgia employs more than 1,600 licensed nurses to provide school nursing services.  School nurses in Georgia are employed by a variety of agencies; the majority are employed by local school districts, and the remainder are employed by local health departments or hospitals. Additionally, school nurses are employed by private or religious schools in the state and some state-supported charter schools also employ nurses.

The Georgia Department of Public Health employs a Deputy Chief Nurse for School Health to provide leadership, training, and consultation as it relates to school nursing practice and public health to all health districts, school districts including private and parochial schools, as well as nurses employed as school nurses.  Additionally, the Deputy Chief Nurse for School Health collaborates across program disciplines within the Department of Public Health to promote physical, social, emotional, and educational growth of children and adolescents in the school setting.

Among the goals of the School Health Nursing Program are to improve the quality of school nursing practice and school health programs, including the health and learning of children and youth.

For more information about this service contact:

Sara Kroening, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, AE-C
Deputy Chief Nurse for School Health
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.W., 9th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

page last updated 10/04/18